July 25, 2009 – The non-profit group Open Cape Corporation this week announced that it had selected RCN Metro Optical Networks to build a fiber-optic network supporting Cape Cod, and that it will apply for an infrastructure grant under the broadband stimulus funds.
RCN Metro Optical Networks, a division of RCN, a competitor to cable companies in selected urban markets, was selected to build and operate a 300-mile fiber network across Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and several islands.
Comcast’s cable internet service and Verizon Communication’s digital subscriber line service are currently the only providers offering broadband on Cape Cod.
In order to build the network, said the release, OpenCape “intends to apply in August for a $40 million grant under the federal Broadband Technology Opportunity Grant (BTOP) program of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”
According to a report by Shan Li in the Cape Cod Times, the plan is “more ambitious than earlier versions, with 300 miles of cable instead of 210 and a price tag of $40 million instead of $20 million, along with the data center in Barnstable and wireless relay points originally proposed.”
“We had been under the assumption we could connect to the Internet backbone in Providence and Boston without building it ourselves,” said OpenCape president Dan Gallagher. Engineering studies showed the need to “break new ground and lay down more cable,” according to the article.
In the press release, Gallagher said of the broadband funds that “this is a once in a generation opportunity to build the telecommunications infrastructure that will serve southeast Massachusetts for the next 50 years.”